Unfazed by the "grievous" impact of the global financial crisis, China, the world's second largest economy, will forge ahead with reform and opening up and play its role as a "responsible major power", President Hu Jintao said today.
In his final New Year's address to the nation last night, Hu said China will forge ahead by pushing forward the reform and opening-up drive and independent innovation, to further strengthen the vitality of its economic growth.
Under the new leadership of the Communist Party, China will forge ahead towards completing the building of a moderately prosperous society, he said.
"Remarkable achievements" have been made in China's reform and opening up as well as its strive for modernisation in 2012, a year that carried high and profound significance in the overall course of the country's development, Hu said.
Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping will formally succeed Hu as President in March. 59-year-old Xi was elected as General Secretary of the CPC in November last year.
"The Chinese people are always the ones that will firmly promote world peace and development," he said. The country will continue to pursue friendly cooperation with other nations on the basis of the five principles of peaceful co-existence, and encourage and adopt peaceful means to properly settle both international and regional issues, Hu said.
"China will work hard to facilitate the robust, sustainable and balanced growth of the world economy and play
its role as a responsible major power," Hu added.
Meanwhile, both Hu, Xi and other outgoing leaders celebrated New Year at a tea party here today. This is regarded as the last such party before the formal handing over of power in March during the new session of the legislature, the National People's Congress (NPC).
The once-in-a-decade leadership change which took place in November last year was regarded as the smoothest power transfer since the Communist Party took over power in 1949. China with the GDP of 47.16 trillion yuan (about 7.49 trillion U.S. dollars) overtook Japan as the world's second largest economy in 2011.